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  1. #1
    Junior Member Divinitous's Avatar
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    What's a decent bike for the $200 range?

    I have a friend that's looking to get into biking. She'll just be doing some simple stuff, paved trails and maybe some wooded areas once she's comfortable enough. We're looking at a 5'2" girl with rent, car payments and a retail job that's ending soon.

    So unfortunately her price is limited to $150-$250. I know it leaves very little to work with, but that's really all she can afford without having to eat ramen and driving to work on fumes for a month. Are there any brand names, Giant, Gary Fisher, Jamis, or such, that anyone can suggest for that price range? It just doesn't pay to buy a crap bike that'll have to be replaced in a year or two. And I really don't want to curse my wrenches by touching a huffy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    Not may choices in that price range (MTN or Road bikes). Most 'new bikes' will be equipped with old tech...like 7-speed freewheels and twist shifters. Some have rapid fire shifters but that's at your spending limit. Take her to your local LBS and see what bike size fits her. If a bike with 26" wheels is too big/tall for her but the frame is right, then try out a bike with 24" wheels. Check out Amazon.com and see if they have any good deals with free shipping. Should look at Craigslist in your area, but in these times, the prices may be inflated and you really need to look at the bike to see if it's worth it or not and test ride it.
    Last edited by Sci-Fi; 02-20-09 at 10:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Arsehole PlatyPius's Avatar
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    I don't think there are any name-brand bikes that cheap any longer. Wholesale bike prices increased a total of about 30% last year, so even the cheap ones aren't "cheap" any longer. The very lowest are usually about $300 retail.

    If it fits, this might be her best option....
    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...ct_id=10660678

    Wal-Mart, but not a Next, Roadmaster, or other crap.

    I assume she's already searched Craig's list and all that?

  4. #4
    Junior Member Divinitous's Avatar
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    Yeah, guys, I check craigslist every now and then. I'm good with bikes, and worked at a bike shop through my teens. Sadly for her my taste in bikes is expensive. I'm nieve when it comes to cheapo bikes. Where would a basic/decent bike start around?

  5. #5
    Arsehole PlatyPius's Avatar
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    You can probably find a decent "comfort" bike for about $350-$390. You could go the BD route too, of course. I'm no fan of BD, but in this case, it's justified.
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/comfort_bikes.htm
    The Motobecane (available in 14" Womens) comes in at $300. Whether that is enough of a savings is up for debate. It would still have to be assembled, and there wouldn't be any of the LBS "perks".

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    It is hard to get a new decent bike for that price. BUT, this bike, from Target, is in my opinion, a pretty good bike for the money. It should be OK for her [ if the size will fit ] as long as she isn't going on hard trails, jumping curbs, & tossing it around, etc., etc. Target,,, at least most I have seen,, has a pretty good person to assemble bikes . WallyWorld assembly = forget it !
    http://www.target.com/Schwinn-Clear-...icycles&page=1

  7. #7
    Senior Member kissTheApex's Avatar
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    We bought our wife's (5'-2") Schwinn Voyageur GS XSmall for $229 last summer. 700c tires, omni front suspension, SRAM rear derailleur and twist shifters. I'd definitely go check a performance bike i fyou have one close by. It is slightly over her price range but as it comes with free lifetime adjustments, I think shou would justify the extra cost.

    Ihsan

  8. #8
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    You can do a search for a schwinn dealer. They have some non wally world bikes at bike shops that could be in your price range. Be sure to ask about last year's models.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  9. #9
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Think used to vintage. I have found many nice bikes in the $100 to $150 range, or less. Vintage used versus new XMart? No contest IMHO.

  10. #10
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I'd look for used too. But you could try someplace like Dick's Sporting Goods. They do handle some lower-end Schwinn, Mongoose and GT bikes, which will be better than what you would find at Wal-Mart.

    Such as this one at $280: http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...ductId=3258986
    Or this Mongoose at $200: http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...ductId=2427082

    They sometimes have sales on in-stock bikes.

    Although the $200'ish Schwinns at W-M are probably worth their cost. They do have name-brand components, such as lower end Shimano derailleurs and shifters.


    I've seen good deals on closeout bikes and last season's rentals at bike shops in the $200 range. Shops that kept their rental bikes in good shape.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 02-21-09 at 09:35 PM.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  11. #11
    Junior Member Divinitous's Avatar
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    Cool guys, thanks for all the responses.
    Now comes the task of shopping around and finding the color that suits her.

  12. #12
    Who farted? Ka_Jun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    I'd look for used too. But you could try someplace like Dick's Sporting Goods. They do handle some lower-end Schwinn, Mongoose and GT bikes, which will be better than what you would find at Wal-Mart.

    Such as this one at $280: http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...ductId=3258986
    Or this Mongoose at $200: http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...ductId=2427082

    They sometimes have sales on in-stock bikes.

    Although the $200'ish Schwinns at W-M are probably worth their cost. They do have name-brand components, such as lower end Shimano derailleurs and shifters.


    I've seen good deals on closeout bikes and last season's rentals at bike shops in the $200 range. Shops that kept their rental bikes in good shape.

    Diamondback Insight or Edgewood @ Dick's, slightly higher than your pricepoint.

  13. #13
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    Why none for craigslist? We bought both ours there bith for under $200 each. Mine was actaully from another person in our building.

  14. #14
    WillFam-Clovis,CA
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    SCIFI suggested Craigslist near the top of the post.

  15. #15
    Junior Member Divinitous's Avatar
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    It's a habit of mine to check craigslist every evening. I've scored my Kreitler roller w/ killer headwind on there for cheap. Lately it seems that all I see on there now is someone selling a $100 huffy for $200. Heh.

  16. #16
    Gear Hub fan
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    Mechanic at the LBS I deal with mentioned that for 2009 the cheapest current year bike in the shop was going to be about $340, a huge rise from the $270 cheapest bike they could get last year. He expressed concerns about losing shoppers such as the lady the OP mentioned to Walmart junk.

    Used can be an option. I just scored on a 1990 Trek 950 in my size from the local Goodwill store for $60. IMO an excellent price for a bike that was originally $700+ per a web check.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

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  17. #17
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I've been sickened by the listings on CL for road bikes. 1980 walmart level bikes missing parts for $130?! Bikes with no tires on the wheels rotting away behind the garage where they were left decades ago for $100?!

    Then it jumps up into the $500-1000 range for decent "real" road bikes from 1988 - 1998 when i can go get a decent enough new roadie for $600.

    I'm in the $200 and under range too. I'm even looking for decent enough frames that I can build back up for that total.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  18. #18
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    In this area, [ big college town ] used bikes at a good price are hard to find. I have seen well used Roadmaster 15 spds, for $89 in Salvation Army & Goodwill stores !! Bargains on Craigslist go in a hurry ! Yard sales have the better deals.

  19. #19
    Rabbit Habbit! Jerry in So IL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esteban32696 View Post
    It is hard to get a new decent bike for that price. BUT, this bike, from Target, is in my opinion, a pretty good bike for the money. It should be OK for her [ if the size will fit ] as long as she isn't going on hard trails, jumping curbs, & tossing it around, etc., etc. Target,,, at least most I have seen,, has a pretty good person to assemble bikes . WallyWorld assembly = forget it !
    http://www.target.com/Schwinn-Clear-...icycles&page=1

    I can say that is a nice bike for the money, even if it comes from a Mart store. My youngest Princess got one last year when we bought the Mongoose Paver for my oldest. She has ridden it several miles and on longer rides with me and my Hybrid. She loves it. And it has held up to her.

    I just got it back from the LBS. They checked the tires and replaced a spoke that had gotten broken from getting bent. She laid it on a pile of wood for the winter and a log got it! I checked everything else and they made sure I didn't screw everything up! Seems my wrenching is getting pretty good! So other than teenager abuse, its a strong bike.

    Jerry
    I'll be needing that for squirels and such....

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